A few weeks ago, a friend of mine from Perchance to Dream theater contacted me and asked me if I could help to design costumes for their new production of 'Antigone'. Being a firm believer in Kevin Pollock's mantra "if you're not creating you're waiting" (and facing an empty post-catering season), I dove in.
Since I came into the production late and was hoping to make it with less than nothing, I came up with a general plan and made a list of what I wanted. Then I asked the actors what they had in their closets, dug through the costume closet of a teacher connected to the production, and tweaked my designs again.
Next came the part I know many designers hate- shopping. Combing through New York department stores during the week before Christmas was a test of my commitment to the task. I longed to be as well established as the costume designers at the Public- to have a team of assistants who I could send out in search of products to pick over, or at the very least somebody to hold my bag and strengthen my morale.
But I got through it, and after sticking things on to actors it was time to record the video portions of the play and I had to let it go. Plus, the masks arrived from Washington, and I got to help the company sort those out.
Overall it's a production I'm well pleased with. The actors look as they should, and the costumes help tell the story without getting in the way of the masks or the actors. A few things were changed from my original idea to the finished product (mostly because I couldn't find what I wanted), but it's probably all for the best.
I prefer to do contemporary costume design over period pieces; it allows me to tell the kinds of specific stories about relationships I like to tell. Plus I get to boss everybody around and make them try on clothes like little dolls.
Oh, and of course I doodled during rehearsal.